I've been an audiophile for a very long time. I bought my first high-end audio system at age 18, and have owned many since. Back then it was a science.
He talked about signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range and total harmonic distortion. We anxiously awaited innovative products. Every once in a while something would come out of left field and the entire industry would be astounded. I place this little speaker into that category...innovation out of left field. I never imagined a small, two pound speaker system with bi-amplification.
Until now, this has been reserved for very high-powered and very expensive audio systems. That's why I bought this little speaker...curiosity. And this from Creative Labs?! Don't they make computer parts?
Hmmm....worth a look..and a listen.I was looking for something with decent sound quality (for a small speaker) to replace my current travel speaker, which sounds good, but weighs almost five pounds.
Reading through the other reviews it seems that people expect concert hall volume and clarity out of the smallest of sound systems. That just isn't going to happen. This takes mass and lots of power.
I wasn't expecting this at all. I want a speaker that can serve as background music while I'm working away in a hotel room on any of the four continents I travel to regularly (and..the write-up didn't say anything about this speaker coming with a power supply with interchangeable plugs for the US, Europe and the UK!!.but it does, and auto select voltage too).So, this little speaker arrives from Amazon.
I plug it in to charge the battery and play some low volume music through it for five hours (you can ruin a speaker by hitting it hard when its brand new..the glue has to give a little on the drivers). After the break-in, I went straight to the song that I always use to audition an audio system...True Colors by Cyndi Lauper.
It did a very good job with this song. I was impressed. Yes, if you push it very far past the RMS power level (.707 of peak power) it will distort..especially with a severely limited dynamic range source such as Bluetooth. That's to be expected. I'm an electrical engineer. I know the limitations the designers face. If you take into consideration the physical size of this speaker, it does an amazing job.
A speaker has to move air. The smaller it is, the less air it can move. The designers came up with a passive radiator system on each end that visibly moves!!
Design and Build
I wasn't expecting that. I'm impressed, and I'm not easily impressed. To the designers from a colleague...and I hope you see this...BRAVO!! This is an overall top quality product. Snug and desirable fit, however, a better zipper design to protect speaker instead of scratch it w/o stressing the zipper at those points and increase the likelihood of ripping should be considered lime a flap built in, that would've been more ideal, tho the value would increase as would the price.
Else it, has little if any padding so, must be packed or handled w/just enough care for the lack of it. I'm appreciating it for the dust it keeps out while stored, and the subtle protection it does provide, hence 4-star value rating.
You could do worse. A nod to the legacy of Roar speakers, the advent of the award-winning Creative iRoar Go is a testament to our engineers' relentless pursuit for innovation. Breaking boundaries and pushing limits, the iRoar Go extols the virtues of Roar DNA, along with the same 5-driver design and bi-amp system - all tightly packed into the smallest acoustic chamber yet, without marring the critically acclaimed sound signature.
Your audio experience comes alive with depth and immersion that makes you appreciate the aural wonders of SuperWide™ technology. It delivers a sound stage so wide that you won't believe it's coming from this little speaker.
Just like its bigger counterparts, the iRoar Go has wireless capabilities, and it multi-tasks as a built-in MP3/FLAC player, voice recorder, Bluetooth speakerphone, an external USB Sound Blaster sound card and a battery bank.
Don't let its size fool you, for the iRoar Go is a fearless speaker that's not afraid of water. It is water-resistant with an IPX6 rating so no splashes can spoil your fun.
Plus, there's an app that lets you customize the audio, the way you like it.
Just as is the case with the buttons, Creative has also provided many useful port options on the speaker, all of which can be accessed from two waterproof rubberized flaps on the top right.
From right to left, you get the following options to connect.
15v power port for charging the speaker.
3.5mm Aux-in port to directly connect your source.
A 5V/1A DC out port (USB type A) for charging external devices (Yes, the iRoar can be used as a portable battery pack)
A micro USB port
A micro SD card slot
I can't think of any other portable Bluetooth speakers this small that houses so many advanced connection options.
Given its size, the Creative iRoar Go manages to produce quite a full and weighty sound. I will admit that after the testing was done, I hardly ever found myself using the speaker without the "Roar" function turned on, and I suspect that's what most people who buy this speaker will also do.
Without the Roar option enabled, the speaker sounds clear and precise but quite flat and with minimal bass response. With it enabled, it's a whole other ball game. This speaker becomes a beast.
The unit comes alive both in the physical and aural sense. The side plates start to vibrate like a mini Devialet Phantom. The room fills with sound, and all tracks become much more punchy and engaging.
Mids and highs are both obvious and are distinctly separate from being muddied by the low end. This is probably due to the separation of the drivers and amplifiers. As I previously mentioned, the iRoar GO actually has two amplifiers. One that handles the low end and another that handles upper frequencies. This means that the sound is much clearer than you would find on other similarly sized speakers.
It also means that the iRoar can get loud..... super loud. Distortion is reached at the last few notches of volume, but by that point, I would say you are getting well beyond the realm of how loud you want the volume in an average-sounding room.
The Superwide thing is also not a gimmick. The speaker sounds wider and more spacious than most other speakers in the portable category, and it makes it great for watching movies on a laptop or iPad. The sound is much more realistic, especially when you compare it to mono speakers, but I would say even some larger stereo Bluetooth speakers would struggle to keep up with this kind of performance.
Competition Creative iRoar Go vs...
If we are talking pure sound then the Minirig Bluetooth Speaker is still, in my eyes, impossible to beat at this price and portability level. Also, the Beoplay A1 will sound much more natural. However, where the Creative iRoar Go comes out on top is in its incredible diversity.
Both those units feel absolutely stunned when you put their feature sets up against Creatives little banger, and the sound is only just a couple of notches below those excellent speakers.
So this means it comes down to a choice of all-out sound (best in class Minirigs + 50hr battery life) vs. Every feature you could ever want + still excellent sound. Ultimately the choice will come down to how you intend to use your unit, but either one of these is up there with Bluetooth speakers.
The Creative iRoar Go is a hell of a lot of speakers for the money. I would go far as to say it's the best value portable Bluetooth speaker on the market today. We were most impressed with the design's highly adaptable nature, the super-wide sound, and superb build quality.
Whilst, not the absolute pinnacle of sound quality in this price and size point, it is in no way a slouch. The fact that it is so packed with bonus features means we can certainly recommend you check out the iRoar go if you are in the market for a loud, stylish and advanced speaker to use on the go.
All in all, the Go is a great continuation of Creative's Roar speaker line.
To find out more about Creative iRoar Go and other products, please feel free to visit the Creative website.